Also called Pek Muhterem Hanımefendi on occasion. Photographer. Thinks. Writes. Gives many damns.

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  1. "Perhaps most shocking is Erdoğan’s assertion that these measures are compatible with democratic principles."

     -

    A few years ago the highest ranking political diplomat of our foreign ministry was visiting. During an internal meeting he kept repeating certain phrases: ‘human rights’, ‘women’s rights’, ‘freedom of expression’ and so on. He went on at length about the growing cooperation with the host nation (and, of course, how important we were in the process of making this a reality). 

    After the meeting I asked my boss what Mr. Highest-Ranking-Political-Diplomat meant with those phrases.

    Boss: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “Consider, when you go to a meeting with your local counterpart and talk about human rights, how do you know you are both referring to the same thing when using the term ‘human rights’?”

    Boss: “Provided government-to-government officials understand each other, what the public think or understand is irrelevant.”

    Then we are left with people somehow astounded that certain leaders believe that certain actions are compatible with democratic principles. Did anyone ever bother to ask Erdoğan was his understanding of democracy was?

    Read the rest of the article from which the quote was taken

  2. "Where the war ends; another war will begin."

     -

    I met Fatma* in during my lunch break over falafel in the old town. She asked me where I was from; as most do since I don’t look Turkish. She asked me about the conditions for Syrians in other cities. Was there any work in Malatya? Was Antakya embroiled in sectarian tension? Was Gaziantep a good place for her and her two children to live? As for her reason for asking: “I don’t want help. I want to work,” she explained. 

    We conversed in a mixture of broken Turkish (in which she had learned over the past months) and French (in which she is fluent) with the occasional Arabic or English word thrown in. She invited over for coffee one day.

    Today, with some baklava in hand, I visited her. In an effort to find commonality, I told her that my father in the late 70s had travelled from Ceylanpınar border gate to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor before going on to Aleppo. Her eye lit up at the mention of her home town and she turned on the TV to show a channel run by DAESH and glorified footage of war ravaging her city. Her eyes welled up at the sight of ‘home’. 

    I eventually asked her when she thought the war would end. 

    "Where the war ends; another war will begin. When Assad goes, then the war will begin. Another 20 years at least."

    *Not her real name

  3. cjchivers:

    Arms-Trade Data Sharing, Ukraine II.

    This Russian soldier is wearing a piece of kit we had not seen before in travels that put us in proximity to Russian troops on both sides of the Caucasus.  (Or if we had seen it, we hadn’t noticed, which is possible on fast-moving days.)

    Zoom in on the small green plastic box clipped to this soldier’s left shoulder.  Like the previous image, of the 2S6 Tunguska, this image has raised questions that we have not yet managed to answer with satisfaction.  Some of our fellow researchers said it is a comm switch. Other suggest it might be a tracker for a battlefield management system. We were moving quickly and had no time yet to run this ID down.

    Context: We saw only two of them, affixed to soldiers indistinguishable from their peers. (The absence of rank insignia on the soldiers made it impossible to determine, in a brief interaction, whether these were NCOs or young officers, though I suspect that they might have been.)

    We share it here for fellow researchers who might wish to ferret out this device’s nomenclature, use and specs. 

    Like other images we have posted either here or on Instagram, this one also indicated that the supposed “self-defense forces” are Russian soldiers on duty with modern Russian military equipment.

    ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS

    By Tyler Hicks/The New York Times.  Perevalnoye, Crime. Ukraine.

    • An older diplomat: You must be quite overwhelmed working in the Syria Directorate for your first job.
    • The young diplomat: Well, not really. There are so many people in the team that any work I do is checked, like, a hundred times over.
    • Me: And also it doesn't really matter when you have a shit policy.
  4. Yes, we’re back to this because nothing has changed. It has only gotten worse. There were, luckily mostly peaceful, protests in Ankara, İzmir and Mersin.

    spinannski:

    February 8th 2014, Istanbul around Istiklal Caddesi:

    Protests against the new internet censorship law are attacked by the riot police. The law allows the government to block websites without a judicial decision and providers have to keep all user-data for two years and make it accessible to authorities. 

    Apparently people have been hurt during the protests tonight, reports say through gas capsules shot at them. Barricades are being set up by the protestors. 

    Source: 140journos, Nar Photos, Agence LeJournal

  5. Half the city concealed in shadow. Beautiful light. Dramatic view of Ankara. Half the city concealed in shadow. Beautiful light. Dramatic view of Ankara.
    High Resolution

    Half the city concealed in shadow. Beautiful light. Dramatic view of Ankara.

  6. "It is not worth [it] as a photographer, to come back with nothing if you risk your life [covering a story]."

     -

    Freelance photographer Narciso Contreras on the photoshopped image of a Syrian rebel fighter that lead to Associated Press cutting all ties with him.

    Contreras was bothered with a camera showing in the bottom left hand corner of the image, so he photoshopped rubble there instead. I can relate. A photographer is constantly tortured and driven by the quest for the “perfect shot”. Contreras over reached. 

    What strikes me though, the punishment for Contreras is so severe and public for manipulating media content and yet journalists often get away with publishing new reports that are selective of the whole picture. 

  7. I was asked to call up the Russian Embassy today by a colleague and help with a visa for someone who is going to the Sochi Winter Olympics. 
It put me in a nostalgic mood.
While my friends were fawning over who ever stars in Dawson’s Creek or members of N*SYNC, I was utterly obsessed with this figure skater. My first celebrity crush was 2002 Olympic Gold medalist Alexei Yagudin. 
He was, still is, a marvelous athlete and if I were being more mindful of this, I’d do him credit by posting a photo of his figure skating. But I’m not. The 15 year old in me likes the ridiculous combination of sun lounger, ice skates and eye-candy. Yum. 

    I was asked to call up the Russian Embassy today by a colleague and help with a visa for someone who is going to the Sochi Winter Olympics. 

    It put me in a nostalgic mood.

    While my friends were fawning over who ever stars in Dawson’s Creek or members of N*SYNC, I was utterly obsessed with this figure skater. My first celebrity crush was 2002 Olympic Gold medalist Alexei Yagudin. 

    He was, still is, a marvelous athlete and if I were being more mindful of this, I’d do him credit by posting a photo of his figure skating. But I’m not. The 15 year old in me likes the ridiculous combination of sun lounger, ice skates and eye-candy. Yum. 

    (Kaynak: eviesedgwick)

  8. Wake Up Call

    I woke to the sound of my father’s voice crackling over an international phone line. He sounded better than I could have hoped for. He buried his mother yesterday. He asked me how I was and unable to lie or hide I told him about the trouble at work. As the words fell from my mouth and into the phone, I worried - would he be disappointed or angry or think less of me.

    "Life’s too short to be upset about this sort of thing. Keep your chin up."

  9. "We are not only a mouth and luring siren. We are the women who dare to think of ourselves as more than a fuck."

  10. "Haklıysan korkma, Hak seni korur."

     - Hz. Ali
  11. On Learning Self-Censorship

    Dissenting is simple as offering an opinion where others do not wish for it to be heard. 

    Every power structure wants to silence dissenting voices.

    If you dissent do not expect to survive long. 

    If you dissent do not expect to have people you have known as friends stand by you. Do not judge them for considering their own welfare before yours; it’s only human. 

    If you dissent your motives and morals for doing so will always, without fail, be used against you and/or dismissed as irrelevant.

    If you dissent you will be “made an example of”.

    If you dissent you will feel the social, economic and psychological repercussions for as long as human memory holds.

  12. Working on a few things on this Yugoslavian made typewriter, handed down to me from my father. Working on a few things on this Yugoslavian made typewriter, handed down to me from my father.
    High Resolution

    Working on a few things on this Yugoslavian made typewriter, handed down to me from my father.

  13. My old neighbourhood!

    fotojournalismus:

    Rena Effendi: Last Dance Of Tarlabasi (2011)

    Artist Statement :

    "A dilapidated neighborhood in the city’s center, the main street of Tarlabasi runs parallel to Istiklal Prospect, Istanbul’s cosmopolitan artery. If, by walking down Istiklal, you can hear the city’s heartbeat, then Tarlabasi, only 3 minutes away, is its shadow twin, beating with its own irregular rhythm.

    In spite of its run-down looks and reputation for widespread crime, Tarlabasi is a culturally vibrant neighborhood kaleidoscope - populated by Kurdish migrant workers from Anatolia, Roma gypsies, Greeks and African immigrants - from devout Muslims to trans-gender sex workers. But this diverse social fabric is being torn apart, since on June 12, 2011 the Beyoglu municipality began a series of forced evictions - following the government’s plan for city beautification. As a result of this recent urban development initiative, many of the current Tarlabasi residents are being “bought out” and ordered to leave, as their homes are demolished to accommodate the construction of upscale residences. Entire building blocks in Tarlabasi have already been sold off to private companies, transforming the streets into ghostly barracks, pending reconstruction. However, many of the neighborhood’s residents, their faces and lifestyles do not fit in with the new, “modern”, mandated look of Tarlabasi.

    Last Dance of Tarlabasi is a visual tale of this neighborhood as it struggles to survive the ruthless pace of Istanbul’s urban change. The symbolic center of this story is a Roma Gypsy wedding - where Mukattes, a 17-year old bride who was born and raised in Tarlabasi, is devastated at the prospect of leaving her home and her family behind. “Wipe your tears and dance - the most beautiful girl of Tarlabasi! Soon you will not be here!” – her relatives chant as they pour onto a small alley of the Gypsy quarter in wild celebration. Mukattes’ infinite homesickness echoes in the hearts of most Tarlabasi residents, though some choose to resist government pressure and take legal action against the new measures. “I’m happy here, I have my beautiful roof-top terrace. The center is nearby. They are doing it for a greater good, but not for me!” – says Ali Ber, a 45-year-old Kurdish migrant from Mardin, who has a pending court case against the local municipality. “I’ve lived here for more than 20 years; all my children grew up here. Why should I leave? If they want to make Tarlabasi better, why can’t I be part of it?” – he asks.”

    (via 5centsapound)

  14. A draft of a poem

    What is this?

    :*

    It’s just a kiss.

    A kiss?

    A kiss.

    Then you pause this uneasy pause where all that we leave unsaid stays - a sharp intake -

    and exhale words like the Arabic letter  ه‎‎‎‎‎‎

    Just a kiss.